Over the weekend, news broke that Universal moved their prequel of John Carpenter’s The Thing, also called The Thing, into release date limbo. Official word from the studio was the film was “not yet ready” and fanboy worry and speculation began. Does the film suck? Do the effects looks stupid? Performances stink? All of the above? The answer, in fact, is none of the above. Producer Marc Abraham clarified to Hitfix that while they already have a cut of the film, the release date shift has allowed them to schedule additional photography that will “enhance existing sequences,” “make crystal clear a few story beats” and “add punctuation marks to the film’s feeling of dread.”

So while we are going to have to wait a little longer to see director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s version of The Thing, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton, the film we do eventually see will be better for it. Read more after the jump.

In his discussion with Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny, Abraham reportedly stressed that “they’re looking at everything right now to make sure they’ve got what they need.” This is luxury very few studio films have. Once a movie is saddled with a release date, they are usually beholden to it. Filmmakers work and work and work on the film until the prints need to be locked and sent to theaters. The film is then ripped from their hands so we can see it. So, at a certain point, story becomes secondary to just making sure the effects and sound are up to theatrical standards. If franchise films like Transformers or Iron Man didn’t have to adhere to a release date, 90% of the time, some reshoots would make the film infinitely better.

So what specifically will be added or reshot in The Thing? The one scene Abraham was specific about was the first time the audience sees The Thing. Here’s what McWeeny had to say.

It sets the tone for everything after, and you have to sell to the audience right there that the Thing is real, that it’s got a physical presence, and that it’s a menace.  If they want to tweak that moment until they feel like they’ve got the exact right version, that sounds like time and money well-spent.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead will also have to go back for the shoot and effects work will continue.

So while The Thing currently finds itself without a release date, the film is on the way and everyone involved knows what they have to live up to. If I were a betting man, I’d imagine we probably get to check this out in October, but that’s just a guess.

Do you agree that reshoots can generally be a good thing?

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